Issues with ground sloping are often fixable but they can wreak havoc on homes if not treated. With this in mind, we wanted to take the opportunity to fill you in on this important element of home inspections.
In this article, we’ll cover sloping ground, why it’s important, how to go about fixing it, and where to get your home inspections to make sure it’s covered during a home inspection.
What is Sloping Ground?
Sloping Ground refers to the way the soil inclines or declines around your home. Studying the sloping of the ground is often one of the first considerations when constructing a new home or building. It is also an important consideration for plants and landscaping.
What Does Proper Ground Sloping Look Like?
Each home will have a different requirement for ground sloping based on a myriad of factors. The need for drainage is universal but the precipitation and landscaping requirements can vary drastically between locations.
In general, the consensus is, homeowners should aim for a slope of around 5%. This translates to a 6-inch drop over the first 10 feet. While a greater slope is generally not a problem, this also has its limits.
Why is Ground Sloping Important?
A sloping ground is one of those things first-time home-buyers may not even think to consider but is absolutely crucial. Knowing the direction rainwater will travel on your property sets the tone for every storm.
If you live somewhere that has a risk of flooding, knowing this information can help you spot incoming floods as they start to build. There is also no shortage of landscaping concerns ground slope plays into.
If you’re planning to have a garden, plant a tree, or anything else which uses rainwater, you’ll need to understand where it flows. Additionally, too high of a slope could create erosion of your soil and make it difficult to grow in.
What are the Consequences of Poor Ground Sloping?
If you have a sloping ground which is too low, it’s liable to lead to flooding within and around your home. If the water doesn’t have a direction to run off, it may stay put right where it falls.
Homes with basements are particularly prone to this type of flooding but all homes are at risk if they’re in an area with a low slope. If your property has a high ground slope, different risks begin to take hold. These include the erosion of your soil and property which could lead to instability within the foundations of your home.
Can You Fix Poor A Sloping Ground?
The main way of doing this is to “regrade” the yard — or, move and add soil as necessary.
If the issue is as simple as “there’s more dirt on one side than the other” then the solution should be to add more dirt. This involves determining the slope of the yard and adding layers of soil, stamping them down, and repeating the process.
Many homeowners wind up doing this in other areas of their property when they start to notice water pooling. The biggest thing with sloping ground is simply making sure you understand it and measure it so you aren’t surprised when the rain comes.
How to Measure Ground Sloping
To measure the sloping of your yard, you will need the following items:
- 2 stakes
- 12+ feet of string
- Measuring tape
- A string leveler
Once you have these ready, use this process to measure your ground slope:
- Loosely tie one end of the string to a stake and pound it into the ground.
- Slide the string down to the ground and let it rest there.
- Use your measuring tape to move out 10 feet down-slope.
- Loosely tie your string to the other stake and bang it into the ground. The string should be adjustable but tight.
- Using your string leveler, adjust the string from your second stake until it is level, and measure the distance between the string and the ground.
While this can be a good way to get a general idea of where you stand, it’s usually best to leave it to the professionals. A thorough home inspector will be able to determine if your ground slope is of concern.
That’s where the team at AA Home Inspection comes in.
What Sets AA Home Inspection Apart?
AA Home Inspection has over 20 years of experience helping customers with a comprehensive home or commercial building inspection. Our team of dedicated, licensed, certified home inspectors are ready to add you to the list of over 13,000 satisfied home inspections.
Choosing the right inspector for your home is a big deal. It has to be someone you can trust to know what they’re looking for and to be vigilant enough to catch the smallest of concerns.
If you’re in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky or eastern Indiana, reach out today and we can schedule an inspection.
Feel confident in your home and in the team you’ve hired to inspect it with AA Home Inspection.